Mayor Scott Avedisian, Kent Center CEO David Lauterbach, members of the city’s Office of Housing and Community Development and staff of The Kent Center’s Housing Office celebrated the renovation of a residence that two Kent Center clients call home at a ceremony Feb. 20.
The residence at 84 Benedict Road, known as “Rouse House,” was the childhood home of one of the residents, who inherited it upon his parents’ deaths. Over time, the house fell into disrepair. The Kent Center acquired the property from the client and sought assistance from the Office of Housing and Community Development to make repairs.
The city invested $65,720 for extensive interior and exterior repairs, including new landscaping, new windows, vinyl siding, a new kitchen and bathroom, new ceilings and walls, paint, a new heating system and new roof. The money comes from the Office’s Acquisition & Rehabilitation Loan fund and is made available to low- and moderate-income property owners to make repairs to their homes as well as owners of long-term affordable housing units in the city of Warwick.
In exchange for its investment, the city placed a 99-year deed restriction on the property to ensure that, in the event it is sold, it remains as affordable housing for low- to moderate-income individuals. The Kent Center is responsible for property upkeep.
“We are pleased to celebrate the completion of this project with The Kent Center and the residents of Rouse House,” Avedisian said. “This assures that they are living in a safe place and receiving the services they need, while adding to our stock of affordable housing, increasing the property’s value and improving the neighborhood.”
“Mayor Avedisian and Warwick’s Office of Housing and Community Development are to be commended,” stated Lauterbach. “They understand and appreciate the importance of stable, affordable and decent housing for people in recovery. We are so grateful for their support of the renovation of Rouse House.”
Also instrumental to the completion of the project were the legal services that were provided pro-bono by John Garrahy, Esq. of the law firm Moses Afonso Ryan, LTD.
Established in 1976, The Kent Center provides a wide range of behavioral health, integrated primary care and housing services for men, women, children and families. The Center serves 4,000 people a year, most of whom are low to low-moderate income and many are uninsured. Approximately half of The Kent Center’s clients are residents of Warwick.